As we get older, certain things are almost unavoidable that we must deal with when it comes to our bodies. One thing a majority of people have to deal with is varicose veins. These types of veins are most often found on your lower legs and are enlarged, twisted veins. Though they are more common in your lower legs, any superficial vein can turn into a varicose vein.
For most people with varicose veins, it is often just a cosmetic concern. For others, unfortunately, varicose veins can cause discomfort and pain. In rare instances, varicose veins can often lead to serious problems. Your doctor can help you determine which treatment options are best for you.
What Causes Varicose Veins to Form?
Varicose veins are caused when the valves do not properly allow blood to be transported. Blood will begin pooling in the veins and makes it hard for your muscles to effectively push the blood back up to your heart. The increase of pressure in your veins can cause congestion that can make your veins twist and bulge.
Many conditions can cause varicose veins to form. More often than not, they begin due to excessive pressure in the abdomen or legs. Obesity, pregnancy and standing for extended periods can increase the likelihood of varicose veins forming. Those who are sedentary can also have a higher risk of varicosity because their muscles are not strong enough to properly pump their blood back to the heart.
As you age, your veins weaken, and the likelihood of forming varicose veins increases significantly. Any injuries to your legs that cause damage to your veins can result in bulging varicose veins. Genetics can also play a significant role in whether or not you will have varicose veins. If you have family members with varicose veins, there’s a good chance you’ll have them as well.
Tips for Treating Varicose Veins
Even though most varicose veins cause no pain or problems, some can be uncomfortable or unsightly to look at. To lessen your risk of developing varicose veins or having your current veins get worse, there are some treatment options and preventive measures to take, including:
The best way to prevent varicose veins or ease any pain associated with them is self-care measures. It is important to exercise, avoid tight clothing, lose weight if needed, elevate your legs and avoid sitting or standing for extended periods.
•Wear Compression Legwear
There are many types of compression legwear to consider such as socks and stockings. Oftentimes, this is the first method people try before other treatments. The compression legwear will gently and steadily squeeze your legs to help your veins and muscles move your blood back up to your heart more efficiently. Speak with your doctor about which type of compression legwear would work best for you.
With this treatment therapy, your doctor will inject your veins with a solution that will scar and close off the varicose veins. In time, the treated varicose veins will fade away. When done correctly, sclerotherapy is an effective treatment that will not require anesthesia to complete.
A new type of treatment doctors are using for varicose veins is done using lasers. No needles or incisions are needed with laser treatment. They use strong bursts of light directed at your veins so they slowly disappear.
When you have a large varicose vein problem, your doctor may choose to use a catheter-assisted procedure using laser energy or radio frequency. The catheter tube will be inserted into your vein before it is heated. While the tube is being pulled out, the heat will then collapse the vein and seal it shut.
These treatments are common for varicose veins that are not problematic. More invasive procedures can include vein stripping, high ligation, endoscopic vein surgery and ambulatory phlebectomy. If your varicose veins were as a result of pregnancy, they will often resolve on their own without treatment within one year after delivery.